Marco Polo Story

Marco Polo BrigeThe world known Italian traveller Marco Polo was born in 1254 in a Venetian family. In 1260, Marco’s father Nicolo Polo and his uncle Maffeo came on a trading journey to Asia.

Kublai Khan was pleased with the detailed answers by the Polo brothers to his questions about Western countries. An envoy, Kejiada, was sent to go to Rome with the Polos.

As the pope had died, the Polo brothers decided to start eastward again with the promising young boy Marco Polo who longed to come to China.

The Polos traveled for three and a half years before reaching China. They passed the Iranian Plateau and the desert of Central Asia and finally reached Shangdu in Inner Mongolia in 1275. They were warmly welcomed by Kublai Khan, and Marco Polo was included in the list of his honorary guests. Kublai Khan was pleased with Marco’s brightness and conscientiousness and sent him as an imperial commissioner to many cities in China. For three years, Marco Polo was governor of Yangzhou near Shanghai. A couple of years later, he acted as an imperial envoy and a deputy privy councellor. He was also dispatched by Kublai Khan on distant missions to Burma, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and some other countries.

As the three Polos stayed at the Yuan court for 17 years, they yearned for home. Kublai Khan did all he could to keep them. Finally, in 1295, after escorting the Mongolian princess Cocacin to Persia for marriage, they returned to Venice.

After returning home, Marco Polo kept telling people about his experiences in China. In 1298, in a naval battle between Venice and Genoa, Marco Polo was wounded and captured. In the prison he met Rusticiano, also a captive, who took down Marco’s experience at his dictation to create the world-renowned Travels of Marco Polo, a systematic record of Marco Polo’s years in China and in countries in central, western and southeastern Asia.

The part on China was a vivid portrayal- and a valuable first-hand account. The book also described the use of coal, silkworm breeding, coinage, bridge and palace architecture, city planning, municipal ad-ministration, social welfare undertakings and afforestation in China.

Marco Polo also brought with him the Chinese cookery to Italy. Dumpling (ravioli) and noodles (spaghetti) are on the list of Chinese cuisine.

In the 13th century, China’s economy, culture, science and technology were among the most advanced in the world. Many of his claims were doubled in the West. It is said that at his death-bed in1324 people tried to persuade him to deny what he had said: But Mar-co Polo declared that his only regret was telling only half of what he had seen. His book has played an important role in promoting the interflow of communication, economy, culture, science and technology between the East and the West.

In the book Kublai Khan was held in high esteem. His name is linked with fancy, travel and adventure, longing to know new things: and understand the world.

In 1981, a film about Marco Polo was shot that cost 20 million U.S. dollars.

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